Photograph of Journal
Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

Summer 2020 Journal Challenge

Looking for something to do this summer?

Join our Summer Journal Challenge!

Once a week during the summer holidays we want to inspire you to keep your own journal, by posting ideas here and on social media.

We’ll be taking inspiration from historical figures such as the famous David Livingstone and Jacob Wainwright (Jacob helped David travel through Africa in the 1800s), who kept detailed journals of their lives to share with the world. Through writing and drawing they documented the people they met, the animals and plants they saw, what they did and things they thought would be interesting for people to read about.

How Do I Get Involved?

All ages welcome. Get writing, drawing, photographing - who knows who might read your journal entries in 200 years! You don’t have to stick to the prompts, you can write about whatever takes your fancy. Submit your journal entries in the form below or share on social media using #BirthplaceProject. You can also email them to Our friends at South Lanarkshire Libraries are also going to put together a digital collection of the journal entries we receive.

Win A Prize!

By submitting your journal entry, you will be entered into a competition (UK only) to win one of the books (we have three copies of each to give away) below:

  • ‘Out of Darkness, Shining Light’ by Petina Gappah (for adults)
  • ‘Africa, Amazing Africa, Country by Country’ by Atinuke (for children)

To submit your journal entry please fill out the form below.

Week 1 - Summer Journal Challenge: Animals

This activity is suitable for all ages

This week we’re asking you to look at the nature around you, in particular the animals that you see.

David Livingstone travelled very far away from his family and friends in Britain, so he kept a journal of everything he saw and did so that he could tell them all about his experiences when he got home. He was very interested in all the new animals he saw when he was travelling in southern Africa and described them in great detail so that the people he cared about at home would feel like they had travelled with him.

Have you seen any animals today (perhaps birds or insects or maybe your pet dog)? Write a journal entry and describe them as if the person reading has never seen one before or draw a picture and label it like a scientific diagram.

What is your favourite animal and why do you like them (think about animals you can find in Scotland, but also those that live in places David Livingstone travelled to, like Zambia, Malawi or Botswana!)?

Now draw a picture and label it with your favourite facts about this animal.

Don’t forgot to submit your creations in the form below to be in with a chance of winning a book and be part of an online collection!

Share on social media using #BirthplaceProject and make sure to tag us.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here is what Tunya wrote after going for a walk around one of his favourite parks in Glasgow.

Submit Your Journal Entry

Are you over 16? If not, please get a parent or carer to leave their details in boxes above (Required)
Do you give us permission to use your entries online (website and social media)? (Required)
Do you give us permission to share your contact details with the team at Blantyre Library to create a digital collection? (Required)